Climate crisis in spotlight at Davos event
A decade of extreme weather events and global warming have catapulted climate emergency to the top of the list of issues worrying the world’s elite, who have taken their private jets to reach the Alpine ski resort of Davos in Switzerland for the 50th edition of the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Annual Meeting from January 21-25.
Despite the private jets, limos and heated chalets in snowbound Davos, the meeting will be carbon neutral for the fourth consecutive year with the smart use of clean energy, green materials, and smart design, and the investment in certified projects that reduce emissions worldwide.
The meeting, which will be attended by 3,000 participants from 117 countries including 53 heads of state and government, is themed “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World”. It will put the spotlight on stakeholder capitalism, rising debt, Brexit and climate crisis.
WEF founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab has urged all members and partners to commit to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 or earlier.
Union commerce minister Piyush Goyal is leading an Indian delegation at the WEF of over 100 industry leaders and government representatives, including shipping minister Mansukh Mandaviya, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s G20 sherpa, Suresh Prabhu, and chief ministers Amarinder Singh (Punjab), Kamal Nath ( Madhya Pradesh), and B S Yeddyurappa (Karnataka).
Among the heads of state and government at the WEF will be US President Donald Trump, his Rwandan, Afghan and Brazilian counterparts, Paul Kagame, Ashraf Ghani, and Jair Bolsonaro, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and prime ministers of Norway and Pakistan Erna Solberg and Imran Khan.
Climate emergency will take centre stage with Green warrior Greta Thunberg opening a discussion on averting the climate crisis two hours after Trump’s special address on Tuesday.
To remain carbon neutral, the meeting will support the Jacunda Project in the Amazon to protect 95,000 hectares of native forest and sustainably-produced rubber, açai and brazil nuts, and the biogas for Greener Farms, which uses methane generated by the processing of manure in biogas digesters as energy and the residue as fertiliser for local farms in Switzerland.
The Davos Manifesto 2020 provides a vision for stakeholder capitalism and includes fair taxation, zero tolerance for corruption, executive pay and respect for human rights. “Business now has to fully embrace stakeholder capitalism, which means not only maximizing profits, but use their capabilities and resources in cooperation with governments and civil society to address the key issues of this decade. They have to actively contribute to a more cohesive and sustainable world,” said Schwab.
“With the global economic environment undergoing rapid change in terms of disruptive technologies, development of global supply chains and increasing protectionist tendencies, India represents an island of opportunity. A strong reform driven approach by the Government of India has further bolstered economic progress. This is a very strong narrative for Davos,” said Chandrajit Banerjee, director-general, Confederation of Indian Industry.